These historical notes provide information on the significant milestones of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore from its founding in 1957 until today.
The Academy proudly commemorated its 55th year by launching a new membership enrolment scheme on 1 June. As of December 2012, a total of 125 new Fellows joined the Academy in 2012. This enrolment number was the highest after 2005.
The growing number of Fellows in the Chapter of Public Health & Occupational Physicians has seen another significant development with the formation of the College of Public Health & Occupational Physicians, a non-independent College under the Academy.
In the same year, the Chapter of Clinician Scientists was formed.
In February, the Academy released the first evidence-based best practice guidelines on Screening Test in Singapore. The Screening Test Review Committee of the Academy, chaired by Dr Lee Hin Peng, and the Ministry of Health announced support population screening for breast cancer and colorectal cancer. After approval by the Parliament for usage of the Medisave, the College of Radiologists, College of Surgeons and College of Physicians assisted with the formulation of guidelines for patients before the Medisave scheme was operationalized by the hospitals.
On 1 November 2011, the new President of the Republic, Dr Tony Tan accepted Patronage of the Academy. Dr Tony Tan was also conferred Honorary Fellowship of the Academy in 2006.
The first Tripartite Congress by the three fraternal academies from Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore, was held in Hong Kong on 12-14 November 2008.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Ministry of Health and the Academy for the furtherance of medical postgraduate specialist training on 3 July 2009. Both bodies would collaborate to establish the structure and programmes for the various Specialty-specific In-Training Examinations.
The first In-Training Examination administered by the Academy was the American College of Physicians Internal Medicine In-Training Examination held on 10 and 17 October 2009.
The College of Ophthalmologists became the first non-independent College to be formed.
The College of Dental Surgeons, Singapore was officially incorporated on 6 August 2008.
The Academy moved to larger premises at the National Kidney Foundation Singapore, Kim Keat Road, on 11 October 2008. The new premises on the 11th and 12th floors of the building have twice the total area which provides a more conducive working environment for staff and additional facilities for members as well as Colleges and Chapters.
A commemorative publication was published by the Annals, Academy of Medicine, Singapore to document the unique and triumphant journey and milestones of the Academy, founded in 1957 through the initiative and foresight of 34 founding members, led by its first Master, the late Professor Sir Gordon Arthur Ransome.
The Academy celebrated its 50th Anniversary at the 41st Singapore-Malaysia Congress of Medicine on 19-22 July 2007. The Opening Ceremony of the Congress on 19 July 2007 was specifically chosen to coincide with the date of the first meeting of the 34 founding members of the Academy. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was conferred as the 39th Honorary Fellow of the Academy.
The Inaugural Pro Tem Meeting of the Chapter of Emergency Physicians took place on 20 July 2006.
The Annals became a monthly publication effective March 2005 to cater to the increasing number of manuscripts submitted to the Annals.
The following Colleges were incorporated as companies limited by guarantee:
College of Anaesthesiologists
College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
College of Paediatrics and Child Health
College of Physicians
College of Radiologists
College of Surgeons
The main secretariat was formally re-located to its new home from its leased premises at the College of Medicine Building. The Specialist Training Secretariat remains at the Academy’s branch office at the National University of Singapore, Kent Ridge Campus.
President SR Nathan, Patron of the Academy, officially opened the Runme Shaw Building on 3 October. He penned the following message to commemorate this special occasion:
“After almost 50 years, the Academy has found its own home – though modest by other standards. In officially opening the Academy’s Headquarters, it is my hope it will flourish in its esteem in the eyes of the profession as well as others who appreciate its contribution to professionalism and scholarship.”
The Council of the Academy approved specialist accreditation in 6 dental specialties, namely Endodontics, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Orthodontics, Paediatric Dentistry, Periodontology and Prosthodontics.
On 3 September 1999, the new President of the Republic, Mr S R Nathan accepted Patronage of the Academy.
The Specialist Accreditation Board (SAB) was formally established to oversee the accreditation process of medical specialists in Singapore. Each of the 35 specialties recognized for the purpose of specialist registration with the Singapore Medical Council has a Specialist Training Committee (STC), which is appointed jointly by SAB, National University of Singapore Division of Graduate Medical Studies and the Academy. MMed remains the local entry qualification for advanced specialty training and FAMS is the local specialty qualification awarded to those who have passed the exit examination. Where appropriate, the FAMS is to be linked with overseas exit qualifications.
On 6 October 1993, the new President of the Republic, Mr Ong Teng Cheong accepted Patronage of the Academy.
The designation of AM (Academician of Medicine) was replaced by FAMS (Fellow of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore).
A Joint Committee for Advanced Specialty Training (JCAST) comprising representatives from the Academy, School of Postgraduate Medical Studies and the Ministry of Health was established. The objects of the JCAST are (i) the provision of advanced specialty training in Medicine leading to specialty certification; (ii) the accreditation of training posts for advanced specialty training; and (iii) the promotion of continuing medical education.
The Chapter of Paediatricians was formed.
The Singapore Medical Council approved the use of the letters “AM (S’pore)” after the names of members of the Academy.
The Academy shifted into new premises at the College of Medicine Building. The Ministry of Health granted the Academy an initial 10-year tenancy.
The Academy secretariat shifted from the Alumni Medical Centre to temporary premises at Harrower Hall on College Road.
Work commenced to plan, design and furnish the Academy’s offices in the refurbished College of Medicine building.
The Chapter of Psychiatrists and the Chapter of Pathologists were formed.
On 7 November 1985, the new President of the Republic, Mr Wee Kim Wee accepted Patronage of the Academy.
On 21 January 1982, the new President of the Republic, Mr C V Devan Nair accepted Patronage of the Academy.
The Chapter of Community and Occupational Medicine Physicians was formed on 21 January 1981.
The Annals was entered into the MEDLINE online database and cited in all issues of Index Medicus.
The Chapter of Dental Surgeons was formed on 21 May 1979.
The Academy was incorporated as a company limited by guarantee on 19 September 1977.
Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew was admitted as Honorary Fellow of the Academy on 21 August 1975 at the 10th Singapore-Malaysia Congress of Medicine.
A Memorandum on Specialist Certification and Registration was submitted to the Government. This was followed a year later by the formation of a Standing Committee on Specialist Training and Certification.
The Chapter of Radiologists and the Chapter of Anaesthetists were formed.
The Annals of the Academy was first published as a quarterly issue.
Higher professional medical examinations were instituted leading to the degree of Master of Medicine (MMed) in Internal Medicine, Paediatrics, Surgery and Obstetrics & Gynaecology.
The Academy was largely responsible for initiating the formation of the postgraduate medical school at the University.
The Chapter of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists was formed.
The Minister of Finance approved the Academy as an Institute of Public Character under the Income Tax Ordinance (Chapter 166).
The Chapter of Physicians and the Chapter of Surgeons were formed.
The Academy’s First Congress of Medicine was held on 3-5 May 1963, drawing participants from Singapore and Malaysia.
On 20 June, the Letters Patent for the Academy’s Coat of Arms, granted a year before by the Sovereign’s Kings of Arms, was formally presented by His Excellency the Yang Di-Pertuan Negara, Encik Yusof Ishak.
Immediately after its inauguration, the Academy turned its attention towards the establishment of formal postgraduate training and continuing education. A carefully prepared memorandum to the Government and the University led to the formation of a Committee of Postgraduate Medical Education at the University with representation from the Academy and Government.
The Academy of Medicine was formed in 1957. The founding members included Professor Gordon Arthur Ransome, the first Master, Dr Benjamin Henry Sheares, the second President of the Republic of Singapore and Dr Yeoh Ghim Seng who later became the Speaker of Parliament.
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